In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful; blessing and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is Knower of all things." (Al-Baqarah (Cow) 29)
IN my ‘kampung’, there is a Chinese sundry shop, which the folks there named it ‘Kedai Bongkok’ which is run by brothers who are used in speaking Arabic Islamic terms such as ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’, ‘al-Hamdu lillaah’ and ‘Laa ilaa-ha il-llaah’.
Each time a customer enters the shop, one of them would recite ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’. Normally village folks, who were accustomed to their habits, would just ignore them, but to strangers, they would be surprised at their fluency in speaking those words.
They too would first recite ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’ during a telephone conversation with customers when the latter would purchase items via phone.
Once, when one of them uttered ‘Laa ilaa-ha il-llah’ when I was about to pay at his work desk for items bought at his shop; I asked him whether he knew the meaning. He shook his head; and quickly I told him “that there is no God except Allah.”
“Yes, yes Allah, Allah,” he said. I believed the words were only on his lips; it did not involve his heart. It is common among some Malaccan Chinese who are very accustomed to the Malays/Muslims life that had no difficulty in following Malay dialects including speaking the Arabic Islamic terms.
Yes, many non-Muslims in Malaysia know that Muslims pray to the One God, Allah. They too, as the Chinese shopkeepers, utter ‘Allah’ in their daily lives, even though they might not have grasped the true meaning of the word.
On my daily journeys to work by express bus from Malacca to Kuala Lumpur, I befriended a passenger whom I taught was a Malay man based on his looks and fluency in the language. Before I got to know him, I always wished him ‘As-salaa-mu-‘alai-kum’ whenever I met him in the morning.
He did not reply; but always smiled broadly to me. One day, he told me ‘the truth’: “Pak Haji (Uncle) actually I am not a Muslim. I am a Malaccan Chetty. My name is Krishnan and I am a Hindu.”
Once, while sitting a seat away from me in a bus from Malacca to KL, Krishnan, whispered to me: “Why the fuss about the word Allah, ‘Pak Haji’? Can’t we non Muslims use the word Allah? My Muslims friends while having conversations with me, once in a while use the word Allah, so could I use the word Allah when speaking to them?”
I only gave Krishnan a brief answer; I was afraid in making mistakes. I only said that Allah refers to The Only One God. I refer to the short ‘surah’ (one of the easiest to me) that is ‘The Unity’ with its translation; In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
1. Say; He is Allah, the One!
2. Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
3. He begetteth not nor was begotten.
4. And there is none comparable unto Him.
And to get ready my answers for Krishnan whenever I might bump into him, I dug into my resources.
In a pamphlet entitled ‘The Foundation of Islam’ produced by Islamic Outreach ABIM, among other it notes: “Allah in Arabic refers to The One and Only True, Universal God of all created things in the seen and unseen worlds. He created them to worship Him. The refusal of anyone to worship Him does not reduce His Majesty as He is independent of needs.
Arab Christians, Arab Jews and Muslims everywhere refer to God as ‘Allah’. The word for God in the Arabic Bible is ‘Allah’!
ALLAH IS NOT THE PRIVATE GOD OF MUSLIMS.
Worshipping the only True God and living by His Commands is the only way to achieve success here and salvation in the Hereafter.
Belief in the ‘syahadah’ and converting this belief into action in all aspects of one’s life in the way to attain freedom from servitude to all forms of falsehood and superstitions is true belief.
Man is incapable of knowing God on his own. He can know God only from what God has revealed about Himself.
All the earlier revealed Books of God have either perished or been corrupted by alternations over time.
The only unaltered description of God is found in the Noble Qur’an which contains the exact Words of God.
God is the One and only, independent of all things, has no child or parents, nothing is comparable to Him, and beyond the grasp of human imagination.
He calls Himself ‘Allah’ in The Qur’an. This Arabic name has no male or female equivalents, and has no plural.”
In ‘The Light of Revelation’ (Islamic Outreach-ABIM), it notes: “From the beginning of mankind, the first of all revelations is the guidance in the understanding of the ONE TRUE CREATOR GOD – Who He is and who He is not. This knowledge forms the basis of true faith. It is rational and frees man from worshipping inanimate or animate created objects which have no capability even to create themselves. How then is it going to help those worship it?
In trying to understand God, we are told to look into our own existence and the existence of this whole universe. When we rationally think about the methodical arrangement of this whole universe, we have to admit that there is definitely a Creator. Do you think it is rational to say that nothing created us or can we ever create ourselves?”
In Surah Hashr 59: 22-24, The Almighty says (translation):
He is God,
There is no God but He.
He is the knower of the Unseen and Visable
He is All-merciful, the All-compassionate.
He is God
There is no God but He.
He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peaceable;
the All-faithful, the All-preserver
the All-mighty, the All-compeller,
Glory be to God, above that they associate!
He is God,
the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper.
To him belong the Names Most Beautiful.
All that is in the heavens and earth magnifies Him:
He is the All-mighty, the All-wise.
In ‘Suara Pusat Islam Universiti (UPM)’ dated 26th February 2010, under the topic ‘Rasulullah (pbuh) as the the leader of Ummah’, noted: “Rasulullah (pbuh) changed their (the people of Makkah) corrupt and ignorant belief (idol-worshipping) and culture. They transformed from a society who worshipped gods created from stones to a society who worships only Allah; and they discarded all their culture and habits that were forbidden in Islam such as consuming alcohol, adultery, gambling, ribaa-based transactions, cheating, bribery, killing female infants and so on.
Allah SWT says in the Al-Qur’an: “And verily, we have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc, i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah.”
Regarding Prophet Isa (Jesus) pbuh, the book ‘Light of Revelation’ notes: “Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was as human as any man. He ate, slept, fought the Romans, worshipped God, wept and cried to God for assistance and salvation! If we read the Bible with an open heart, we can find in not less then 60 verses, statements as clear as daylight, that God is one and that Jesus is a human being and a prophet. He was never worshipped as God by his Disciples. The mission of Prophet Jesus was the same as all the 124,000 prophets sent to mankind.
Jesus said of his and our God: “And Jesus answered him. The FIRST of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord OUR GOD is ONE Lord.” (Mark 12:29).
Sincerely ponder over the above verse and Isaiah 43:10 (below) and ask yourself whether there is any place for the belief in Trinity. God says: “Besides Me there is NO OTHER GOD; there NEVER WAS and NEVER WILL BE.” That God is Allah SWT, the Most Merciful to all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims!